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In this case, a high school vice-principal encounters tension and anger when she rewrites a staff member’s report card comments without his knowledge. The case narrative examines the conflict that arises when, under time constraints and pressures to produce student reports, the vice-principal acts on a decision she believes is ethically correct only to find that she incurs a significant setback with staffing relationships largely due to wavering of trust. The analysis examines how transformational leadership builds self-efficacy in all staff founded on trusting relationships. Professional reflection provides a conduit through which educational leaders can assess their own practice and implement the changes needed to sustain school improvement planning.


Wettlaufer, J. R. A., & Sider, S. R. (2019). “How Can He Be So Cruel?” Examining Issues of Trust in School Improvement Efforts. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 22(2), 3–13. Copyright © 2019 by the authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.